Opko Health (NASDAQ: OPK) and Shire PLC (NASDAQ:SHPG) are both mid-cap medical companies, but which is the better stock? We will contrast the two companies based on the strength of their institutional ownership, dividends, risk, analyst recommendations, profitability, valuation and earnings.


This table compares Opko Health and Shire PLC’s net margins, return on equity and return on assets.

Net Margins Return on Equity Return on Assets
Opko Health -6.52% -3.67% -2.78%
Shire PLC 4.70% 14.10% 6.25%

Analyst Recommendations

This is a breakdown of current ratings and recommmendations for Opko Health and Shire PLC, as reported by MarketBeat.

Sell Ratings Hold Ratings Buy Ratings Strong Buy Ratings Rating Score
Opko Health 0 2 6 0 2.75
Shire PLC 0 7 14 0 2.67

Opko Health presently has a consensus target price of $16.43, indicating a potential upside of 155.50%. Shire PLC has a consensus target price of $220.91, indicating a potential upside of 45.47%. Given Opko Health’s stronger consensus rating and higher possible upside, analysts plainly believe Opko Health is more favorable than Shire PLC.

Institutional and Insider Ownership

22.5% of Opko Health shares are owned by institutional investors. Comparatively, 19.1% of Shire PLC shares are owned by institutional investors. 40.2% of Opko Health shares are owned by company insiders. Comparatively, 2.0% of Shire PLC shares are owned by company insiders. Strong institutional ownership is an indication that hedge funds, endowments and large money managers believe a stock is poised for long-term growth.

Valuation & Earnings

This table compares Opko Health and Shire PLC’s top-line revenue, earnings per share (EPS) and valuation.

Gross Revenue Price/Sales Ratio EBITDA Earnings Per Share Price/Earnings Ratio
Opko Health $1.18 billion 3.05 -$17.02 million ($0.17) -37.82
Shire PLC $14.58 billion N/A $5.76 billion $2.24 67.79

Shire PLC has higher revenue and earnings than Opko Health. Opko Health is trading at a lower price-to-earnings ratio than Shire PLC, indicating that it is currently the more affordable of the two stocks.

Volatility & Risk

Opko Health has a beta of 1.85, indicating that its share price is 85% more volatile than the S&P 500. Comparatively, Shire PLC has a beta of 1.62, indicating that its share price is 62% more volatile than the S&P 500.


Shire PLC pays an annual dividend of $0.91 per share and has a dividend yield of 0.6%. Opko Health does not pay a dividend. Shire PLC pays out 40.6% of its earnings in the form of a dividend.


Shire PLC beats Opko Health on 8 of the 14 factors compared between the two stocks.

Opko Health Company Profile

OPKO Health, Inc. is a healthcare company. Its segments include Pharmaceutical, Diagnostics and Corporate. Pharmaceutical consists of the pharmaceutical operations in Chile, Mexico, Ireland, Israel and Spain and its pharmaceutical research and development operations. Diagnostics consists of the clinical laboratory operations in Bio-Reference Laboratories (Bio-Reference) and its point-of-care operations. Through Bio-Reference, it operates laboratory divisions, such as Bio-Reference, GenPath (Oncology), GenPath (Women’s Health), GeneDx and Laboratorio Bueno Salud. As of December 31, 2016, it had one commercial stage pharmaceutical product and several pharmaceutical compounds and technologies in various stages of research and development for a range of indications and conditions, including Renal Products, Biologics, hGH-CTP, Factor VII, Oxyntomodulin, active pharmaceutical ingredients, Oligonucleotide Therapeutics, NK-1 Program, Asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Shire PLC Company Profile

Shire plc is a biotech company focused on serving people with rare diseases and other specialized conditions. The Company’s segment is engaged in research, development, licensing, manufacturing, marketing, distribution and sale of specialist medicines. It focuses its development resources on projects in various therapeutic areas (TAs), including Neuroscience, Ophthalmology, Hematology, Oncology, Immunology, Gastrointestinal (GI)/Metabolic/Endocrinology Diseases. Its Hematology products include ADVATE (Antihemophilic Factor (Recombinant)), ADYNOVATE/ADYNOVI (Antihemophilic Factor (Recombinant), PEGylated)), RIXUBIS (Coagulation Factor IX (Recombinant)), VONVENDI (von Willebrand factor (Recombinant)) and FEIBA (Anti-Inhibitor Coagulant Complex). Its Genetic Diseases products include CINRYZE (C1 esterase inhibitor (human)), FIRAZYR (icatibant), ELAPRASE (idursulfase), REPLAGAL (agalsidase alfa) and VPRIV (velaglucerase alfa).

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